Subscribe To Battlefield: Hardline Premium Revealed By Beta Updates
I've already subscribed
Battlefield: Hardline will be getting a whole lot of DLC, it seems. The beta test of the game contains references to a Premium membership.
Videogamer noticed that some of the Patches (a customization item for player's avatars) are described as Premium-only within the game. They took a screenshot of one of these Patches as proof:
The screenshot is from a PlayStation version of Hardline. While I can't find those Patches in the PC beta, I have no doubt that Premium would be available on all platforms when Hardline launches. Visceral Games probably just forgot to scrub them from the PlayStation editions of the beta.
Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 both offered Premium memberships to players for a one-time fee. Premium members received access to all expansions packs released for the game after launch at a discounted rate. Furthermore, they could play these expansions two weeks before everyone else. Other perks included priority access for server queues, exclusive events, and bonus items.
Premium membership is pricey ($49.99 on BF3 and BF4 at release) but many players decided it was worthwhile. There were well over a million Premium subscribers for each game. That's a million people who are essentially buying the game twice.
These memberships are actually one of the few pieces of DLC I'm willing to pay for. Battlefield games tend to be my go-to shooter up to a year or so after release so the bulk discount on DLC pays for me.
Would anyone be surprised to see a Premium program for Battlefield: Hardline as well? Given how lucrative the DLC for Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 3 was for EA, they're going to stick to that business model as long as it works for them.
You could argue that this huge amount of DLC will wear on fans' patience but I doubt that's the top concern for EA. They know that there are bigger hurdles for Hardline to overcome. The first is the widespread expectation that the game's servers will be a broken mess at launch like Battlefield 4's. You know things are bad when developers actually get asked in interviews if their game's going to work.
The other challenge for EA and Visceral Games is convincing Battlefield fans that Hardline deserves to exist. After all, series creator DICE said that bringing in a second developer to the series to create faster sequels "would be the death-blow for the series." Persuading gamers that this cops-and-criminals spin-off isn't just a cash-in but a welcome new direction for the series sounds like a much harder task than convincing the people who buy the game to pick up the expansion packs as well.